Y’know, this is a really good deal. So you sign a year-long commitment to World of Warcraft with their new, limited-time Annual Pass and get Diablo 3, a crazy awesome flying mount, and access to the beta for the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria. You can’t cancel and you’ll still spend $180 over the next year. Do you do it?
I’ve mentioned previously that I was very into World of Warcraft for about six months. If the Xbox 360 hadn’t come out, would I have been game for a twelve month commitment? That’s a little sketchy at best. I personally have no desire to play Diablo 3, but I can see the appeal, but let me create a scenario:
At this point you’re a longtime WoW player and you’ve been subjected to the variety of changes to the game over the years. You were first in line for Cataclysm nearly a year ago and you’re long done with that content. So do you continue to run those same raids and battlegrounds for another twelve months? That there’s an open invitation to the Pandaria beta is a virtual guarantee that it’s going to happen within that window, even if it’s only for a month toward the end. Of course, there’s no chance that Pandaria will release before then, but it’ll probably release right afterward, encouraging you to commit for that much longer. And you get Diablo 3.
This seems like a deal better suited for new customers, which seems like a very small group at this point, rather than than veterans who will bounce between this and whatever new MMO comes out. Star Wars: The Old Republic is right around the corner and it comes off as the greatest opportunity for Blizzard to lose WoW customers ever. I doubt Blizzard is shaking in its boots, but they must also know that World of Warcraft is past its peak.